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DUST: Egypt's Forgotten Architecture Hardcover – November 20, 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dewi Lewis Publishing (November 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907893199
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907893193
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 9.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,331,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This is a one of a kind book. It comes at a very relevant time as Egyptians revisit their lost glory in post revolution Egypt. This book shows what Egypt was and what it has become after a 50 year period of military rule stagnation and decline. The glory of Egypt as a growing and beautiful city in the 1900s comes to life in this book through the images of the country's homes and architecture of the time. The pictures shot of grand homes: deserted, lonely and in decline are powerful and provide a rare glimpse of never seen before interiors and architecture. Underneath it all is the sadness of what has become of these homes which today are left to decay but not too long ago hosted the Middle East's elite. The saloons and care taken in designing these homes. Xenia has done a wonderful job, making the pictures real, and walking a thin line between realism and artistic interpretation. I like that she did not take too much artistic liberty with the images and hence kept them as factual as a photographer can with a subject matter. The emotions that these pictures instill are very much a result of the realism that their images portray, and thanks to Xenia are balanced, sincere and not hampered down by a photographer's attempt to add drama through technique. I respect that. Prior to getting this book, I recommend that you read about Egypt and particularly Cairo's 19th century architecture, even just online, it will give a wonderful context to what these images mean, in both city, human and living terms. The book size wise is not big; not one of those large coffee table books that take up half of the counter, yet it is at heart a coffee table book, with little text. It does not at all take away from its attractiveness, at least for me, I actually liked that, as it gives the book a mysterious feel.Read more ›
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It is surprising in itself that it should be a Russian photo-journalist who should be so intrigued by Egypt's neglected past as to produce this stunning series of photographs of Egyptian interiors, from the faded glamour of private palaces to abandoned cinemas and department stores. The mood is the same in all the photographs: sad, contemplative, drawing the eye to see beyond the devastation and the dust to the faded beauty of Belle Epoque staircases, domes, fireplaces....All the pictures are of interiors, not exteriors, and there are no human figures in the shot, lending a welcome uniformity to the images. The essay by On Barak sheds an indispensable light on the purpose of the collection.
I admit that I was drawn to the book immediately by the cover photo of a fireplace in my family house in Garden City, which I called 'The Cairo House' in the eponymous novel. There are several other photos taken in the house, but many more of very varied spaces.
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